Pay per use software coming soon?

Virtualisation to kill off costly licensing deals

Virtualisation to kill off costly licensing deals

Virtualisation could end expensive long-term software licensing in favour of a pay per use model, according to Symantec.

Executives at the company said that year- or months-long licences covering multiple machines could be slashed to pay per day, hour or even per second licensing deals using virtualised applications.

Virtualised or streaming applications, where software is run on a central machine and streamed to computers over a network, allows monitoring of precisely how long each instance of the software is used for.

Ken Berryman, VP of endpoint virtualisation at Symantec, said: "You can detect application usage so you can cut the number of licences down to what is being used.

"There are a lot of customers that would like to use that to only have to pay when using the software but there is resistance among vendors to change the licensing model.

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"What you can not do today is go down to a charge per use model.

"But licensing periods are getting shorter and shorter and one day it may go down to individual usage."

Symantec is developing a prototype security service that will allow it to protect a machine with no installed security software using virtualisation.

Berryman said using a built-in hypervisor would allow Symantec to set up a buffer to screen and intercept code before it is run on the virtual machine on a user's computer.

"Whenever a machine asks for some code, before you give it to them, you would give it to us and we will scan against 47,000-plus virus definitions and if it looks like a virus, we can inject our agent into that machine and kill the processes and delete the files associated with that," he said.

Symantec is now deciding on how to deploy this virtualised security model and when there will be a market for it, Bruce McCorkendale, distinguished engineer in the CTO strategy office, said.